GENTECH archive 8.96-97
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- Subject: Nature article
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- Date: Sun, 27 Oct 96 16:39:23 +0100
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Yesterday (Saturday, October 26, 1996) in a German newspaper (taz
tageszeitung) they had
special 4 full pages on information about monsantos soybeans!
There you can read all the things other newspapers normally like to suppress,
the campaign of greenpeace, consumer organizations, etc. and very important:
What are saying the food producers: Who approves who boykots!
You can read all that by yourself: http://www.taz.de/~taz/961026.taz/sp_idx10.h
For all the non-germans, you should read the scientific magazine NATURE, issue
of October, 17th.
There they make absolutely clear that a segregation of genetic engineered and
poses absolutley no problem (contrary to the claims of Monsanto).
Even further that already Central Soya Co of Fort Wayne,Indiana, one of the
largest soybean processing companies, acknowledged that it had barred
deliveries of genetically engineered
soybeans to one of its seven US granaries.
You can read the full text under
its for free, but you have to fill a form and get a Username and Password
Eckart Stein, E.Stein@em.uni-frankfurt.de
The following are excerpts from at article in the October 17, 1996 of Nature
titled: Genetic resistance spreads to consumers
Genetic resistance spreads to consumers
Washington. A small Iowa company that produces a test able to detect genetic
alterations in crops
is being deluged with calls as wary European consumers and retailers react to
the news that
genetically modified corn (maize) and soybeans are being harvested in the
United States for the
"There has been tremendous interest," says Jeff Wells, who helped to found
Genetic ID only two
months ago. "It's the European export trade that's interested," he adds,
pointing out that it's "not
just health food people [but] general consumers".
According to Wells, orders from corn and soy brokers on both sides of the
Atlantic have already
pushed his firm to capacity. The firm sells tests that can detect the genetic
engineered soybeans and corn produced in the United States by Monsanto and
Both crops are genetically altered to resist herbicides made respectively by
AgrEvo, a Frankfurt chemical company. The corn is also altered to resist the
borer, by insertion of a gene from a bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis,
which makes a protein
toxic to the pest.
Both the soybeans and the corn have been passed as safe by the governments of
States, Canada and Japan. The European Union (EU) has approved the soybeans
for import and
processing, but similar approval of the corn is bogged down in committees in
Genetic ID's new tests allow middlemen who funnel exports of corn and soy from
States to European clients to guarantee that the crops are free of genetically
altered product -- a
guarantee that many European retailers are now demanding.
In a separate move, one of the largest US soybean processing companies has
soybeans. Last month, Central Soya Co of Fort Wayne, Indiana, acknowledged
that it had barred
deliveries of genetically engineered soybeans to one of its seven US granaries.
According to surveys, up to 85 per cent of European consumers would shun
foods if given a choice. EuroCommerce, a trade group representing one-third of
wholesalers and retailers, demanded here last week that US exports of
Monsanto's soybeans be
At the same time, an international coalition led by consumer activist Jeremy
Rifkin announced a
boycott of the corn and soybeans, focusing on ten companies which the
coalition will pressure to
guarantee that certain foods are free of the genetically altered crops and
The campaign comes amid rumblings of a possible 'corn war' between the United
Europe. Even as European consumer resistance has mounted to the EU's April
decision to allow
the import of the soybeans, European countries have divided over whether to
allow the import of
Ciba-Geigy's genetically engineered corn.
After the EU's Council of Environmental Ministers failed to approve the corn
in June, the issue
was referred to three scientific committees of the European Commission (EC).
It is not known
when these committees -- on food, animal nutrition, and pesticides -- will
But the first corn grown from the genetically engineered seeds is already
being harvested in the
United States, and exports to Europe usually start in November. Unless the EC
approval, imports would violate EU rules.
Ciba says that the corn -- 1 to 2 per cent of the expected US harvest --
cannot practically be
separated from non-genetically engineered corn. This raises the possibility
that Europe would
need to ban all US corn imports -- valued at US$500 million in 1995 -- to bar
Without a European decision soon, "there could be serious trade
repercussions", says a senior
official at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
US officials have dismissed as irrational European concern about the safety of
both the corn and
the soybeans, and have called impracticable demands for their segregation and
But European countries have raised concerns about the corn. Last spring,
Austria, Denmark and
Sweden raised worries about its environmental effects, including the
development of pest
resistance to the toxin produced by the corn.
They also worried that the corn's herbicide resistance gene might jump to
relatives. And they complained that the imports ought at least to be labelled
engineered. Consumer activists argue that labelling would protect against
possibly carried by both crops.
Britain raised separate concerns over the fact that the corn carries a marker
resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics including ampicillin, which is used
widely in people and
animals. The UK's Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) has
that this poses an "unacceptable risk", as bacteria in the guts of animals
eating the unprocessed
corn could take up the gene.
Nature ) Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 1996 Nature ) Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
No. 785998 England.